Murray and Warburton picks interest for Six Nations clash

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The winner of Scotland’s home clash with Wales will most probably finish second behind England in this year’s Six Nations and some interesting team selections have been named ahead of the meeting, most notably the inclusions of Euan Murray and Sam Warburton.

Murray’s following of Christianity means that he chooses not to play on Sundays, which resulted in him missing Scotland’s last win over Ireland.

Tighthead prop replacement Geoff Cross was impressive in the front row in this victory and certainly did enough to entitle him to retain his place.

Murray may marginally be the best man for the job given his superior scrummaging ability, but a regular tighthead is arguably of added importance in controlling the pack.

Chopping and changing in this department, for whatever reason, may potentially hold a team back and Scott Johnson may be better throwing in Cross now from a long-term perspective.

Duncan Weir’s cameo against Ireland has also won him the nod over Ruaridh Jackson at fly-half and his additional intensity could help Scotland maintain their 100 per cent winning record at Murrayfield in this year’s competition.

Scotland are 13/8 to beat Wales.

For the visitors, Justin Tipuric has hardly set the world alight against France or Italy, but he didn’t play poorly enough to justify being dropped to incorporate Warburton’s return, who has been massively ineffective in his most recent appearances.

By leaving out Tipuric and Andrew Coombs, who has been one of Wales’ better players through the competition, Rob Howley has largely opted to reinstate experienced players over allowing the newbies to gather more momentum.

This decision could go either way and Wales look a tad on the short side at 1/2 to win at Murrayfield, even if they have triumphed in three of their last four meetings on Scottish soil.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.